Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe - WhitneyBond.com (2024)

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by Whitney Bond
March 23, 2023

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4.59 stars (29 ratings)

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This Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai recipe is easy to make in just 15 minutes and features THE BEST Pad Thai sauce! It’s vegetarian and given a spicy kick from chili peppers and sriracha! This recipe can be made anywhere from a 5-10 level spice, just follow the instructions below to make it just the right amount of spicy for your taste.

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This recipe first appeared on the blog in January 2013. Since then it’s been viewed over a quarter million times and made by thousands of people! The original sauce recipe, that everyone knows and loves, has always stayed the same. The only thing that’s changed from the original recipe is that I added more veggies.

Feel free to add as many, or as few, vegetables as you would like, just be sure to make the sauce! It’s the star of this Vegetarian Pad Thai and will have you coming back to this recipe over and over again.

I love making my favorite Thai take-out dishes at home because it costs a fraction of the price and is made in less time than it would take to drive and pick up take-out at a restaurant. You can also make it your own by spicing up the dish as much as you’d like, or adding your favorite vegetables!

The best part about this Thai food favorite is that it’s so easy to make in just 15 minutes, making this one of our go-to weeknight meals!

Table of contents

  • Ingredients
  • Instructions
  • Spice level
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Pantry items needed
  • More Thai food favorites
  • More easy vegetarian recipes
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Ingredients

  • Soy sauce – I prefer to use low-sodium soy sauce to keep the saltiness of the Pad Thai sauce down, but feel free to use traditional soy sauce, if you prefer. If you’re making this recipe gluten free, you’ll want to use Tamari, or gluten free soy sauce.
  • Sesame oil – pure sesame oil will be sold in the grocery store with the other oils, or in the Asian section of the store.
  • Peanut butter – any creamy peanut butter will work, so feel free to use your favorite! Just remember that a peanut butter with added sugar will make the sauce a little sweeter.
  • Brown sugar
  • Lime juice – I always recommend fresh squeezed for the best flavor!
  • Sriracha
  • Thai red curry paste – if you’re making this recipe vegetarian, you want to make sure that the curry paste you’re using does not contain shrimp paste. The brand Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste does not contain shrimp. It’s gluten free and vegetarian, making it perfect for this recipe.
  • Pad Thai rice noodles – these could be labeled as rice noodles, Pad Thai noodles or stir-fry noodles. You can find them in the Asian section of the grocery store. If you live near an Asian market, you can also pick them up there for a fraction of the price!
  • Garlic – fresh minced cloves are always preferred.
  • Vegetables – feel free to get creative and use your favorite vegetables, or whatever you have on hand. Just be sure to cut them each into 1 inch pieces, so that they’ll all cook at the same time. You’ll want two cups of vegetables for this recipe, feel free to use two or three different veggies, or more! Here are some ideas to get you started.
    • Onion
    • Red bell pepper
    • Zucchini
    • Mushrooms
    • Baby bok choy
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Sugar snap peas
  • Jalapeno, serrano peppers or Thai chilies – we’ll get into this more in the spice section below, but feel free to use any of these chili peppers or a combination of them to make this Pad Thai extra spicy! I always use at least one sliced jalapeno and if I have them around, I’ll throw in 2-3 Thai chilies.
  • Eggs
  • Bean sprouts – these are optional, but you’ll typically find them in an authentic Pad Thai recipe and they add an excellent crunch to the dish.
  • Fresh cilantro, green onions and peanuts – these toppings are the perfect way to finish the dish. They add bright, fresh flavor on top of the Pad Thai and a delicious crunch!

Instructions

I’ve includedstep by step photosbelow to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

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Step 1: start by preparing the Pad Thai sauce. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, Sriracha and Thai red curry paste to a mason jar.

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Step 2: secure the lid on the mason jar and shake the jar until all of the sauce ingredients are well combined.

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Step 3: bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Turn the heat off on the stove and add the Pad Thai rice noodles to the hot water. Soak for 6-8 minutes, or until tender.

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Step 4: slice and dice all of the vegetables and peppers for the Pad Thai.

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Step 5: heat sesame oil in a wok, or large skillet, over high heat on the stove. Add all of the sliced and diced vegetables and peppers. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes.

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Step 6: move the vegetables to one side of the wok and add two whisked eggs to the other side of the wok. Use a spatula to scramble the eggs in the pan.

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Step 7: add the prepared rice noodles and sauce to the wok with the vegetables and eggs.

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Step 8: toss everything together, then add the bean sprouts and toss them in with the Pad Thai. Top with the diced green onions, cilantro and crushed peanuts.

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Spice level

When ordering Pad Thai at a restaurant, they’ll usually ask how spicy you’d like it on a scale of 1-10. At any authentic Thai restaurant, this simply means how many Thai chilies they’ll be adding to the dish.

As it’s written, this recipe is at a level 5 using one jalapeno and one tablespoon Sriracha in the sauce. Here are a few ways you can take this recipe anywhere from a 5-10 level spice.

  • For a level 6: add 1-2 minced Thai chilies to the recipe with the vegetables. Each chili is different, so the spice level will vary slightly depending on the chili.
  • For a level 7: add 2 minced Thai chilies with the vegetables, and add an extra teaspoon of Sriracha to the sauce. My husband likes his Thai food spicy, so this is our go-to at home.
  • For a level 8: add 4 minced Thai chilies with the vegetables, and an extra tablespoon of Sriracha to the sauce.
  • For a level 9: add 6 minced Thai chilies with the vegetables. Also and an extra tablespoon of Sriracha to the sauce.
  • For a level 10: keep a glass of milk handy for this one! Add 8 or more minced Thai chilies with the vegetables, and an extra tablespoon of Sriracha to the sauce.
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Frequently asked questions

  • Is Pad Thai gluten free? The dish is gluten free, just make sure to use Tamari instead of traditional soy sauce when making the sauce to keep it gluten free.
  • Can you make the sauce ahead of time? Yes, the sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the Pad Thai. You can even make a double batch of the sauce to make this recipe twice in one week. It’s so good, I promise that you’ll want to!
  • Is Vegetable Pad Thai vegan? It is not, because of the eggs. But it’s easy to make vegan Pad Thai simply by omitting the eggs in this recipe. Always make sure that the red curry paste does not contain shrimp paste, if you’re making this recipe vegan or vegetarian.
  • Can you add tofu to the Pad Thai? Yes, I recommend using a block of extra firm tofu, pressing it dry and dicing it into small cubes before adding it to the recipe. You’ll want to stir fry it in the wok for 3-4 minutes before adding the vegetables.
  • How long will leftovers stay good? Leftover Pad Thai will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s easy to reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes. I always recommend a squeeze of lime juice, and adding fresh cilantro and green onions on top after reheating it.

Pantry items needed

More Thai food favorites

  • Thai Yellow Curry
  • Drunken Noodles
  • Thai Chicken Satay
  • Vegetarian Massaman Curry Noodles
  • Thai Coconut Soup with Potstickers

More easy vegetarian recipes

Looking for more easy vegetarian recipes made in 29 minutes or less? Check out these favorites!

  • Vegetarian Ramen
  • Vegan Tacos with Grilled Veggies
  • Caprese Pasta
  • General Tso’s Vegetarian Noodle Stir Fry
  • Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl

Don’t forget topin this 15 Minute Pad Thai Recipefor later and when you make it, be sure to share a pic on Instagram and tag me@WhitneyBondor use the hashtag #WBRecipes!

Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe - WhitneyBond.com (15)

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4.59 stars (29 ratings)

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Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai

This Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai recipe is easy to make in just 15 minutes and features THE BEST Pad Thai sauce! It's gluten free, vegetarian and given a spicy kick from chili peppers and sriracha!

Servings: 4 people

Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Cook Time: 10 minutes mins

Total Time: 15 minutes mins

Author: Whitney Bond

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Thai

Ingredients

Pad Thai Sauce

Vegetable Pad Thai

  • 14 ounces pad thai rice noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cups vegetables, bell peppers, zucchini, onions or mushrooms – sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced – or 2 minced Thai chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, crushed

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, sriracha and Thai red curry paste to make the pad thai sauce. Set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Once boiling, turn the heat on the stove off and add the pad thai noodles to the hot water.

  • Let the noodles soak in the water for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, then drain and set aside.

  • Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to a large skillet or wok over high heat.

  • Stir fry the vegetables, jalapeños and garlic in the sesame oil for 4-5 minutes, then push to the side of the skillet.

  • In the other half of the skillet, add the whisked eggs and scramble.

  • Add the cooked pad thai noodles and prepared pad thai sauce to the skillet. Toss everything together.

  • Add the bean sprouts and toss them into the dish.

  • Sprinkle the cilantro, scallions and crushed peanuts on top and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • The dish is gluten free, just make sure to useTamariinstead of traditional soy sauce when making the sauce to keep it gluten free.
  • The sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the Pad Thai. You can even make a double batch of the sauce to make this recipe twice in one week.
  • To make this recipe vegan, omit the eggs. Always make sure that the red curry paste does not contain shrimp paste, if you’re making this recipe vegan or vegetarian.
  • Leftover Pad Thai will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s easy to reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes. I always recommend a squeeze of lime juice, and adding fresh cilantro and green onions on top after reheating it.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 633kcal (32%)Carbohydrates 111g (37%)Protein 16g (32%)Fat 15g (23%)Saturated Fat 3g (15%)Polyunsaturated Fat 5gMonounsaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 82mg (27%)Sodium 1203mg (50%)Potassium 495mg (14%)Fiber 8g (32%)Sugar 8g (9%)Vitamin A 6810mg (136%)Vitamin C 25mg (30%)Calcium 93mg (9%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Did you make this recipe?Tag @WhitneyBond on Instagram and hashtag it #WBRecipes!

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originally published January 17, 2018 — last updated March 23, 2023 33 Comments

Posted in: 29 Minute Meals, Dinner Recipes, Gluten Free Recipes, Method, Quick and Easy Recipes, Recipe Videos, Recipes, Sriracha Recipes, Thai Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, WB Favorites

About Whitney Bond

I’m a sports-loving, coffee-drinking, food blogger, the host of “29 Minute Meals”, a contributing writer for TODAY Food, cookbook author and on-camera food and lifestyle expert! Here you’ll find most recipes are made in 29 minutes or less, in one pot, or in a crock pot!

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    33 Comments on “Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai”

  1. Vivi May 20, 2023 @ 3:37 PM Reply

    Oh, my!! Delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it. I used curry spice instead of red curry paste. I’m picky about peanut sauces, this was just amazing!

  2. Erika 英語 June 2, 2022 @ 11:10 PM Reply

    Easy, quick, delicious weeknight meal! Will definitely make again.

  3. Brooke March 19, 2022 @ 9:19 PM Reply

    This looks like a really yummy Pad Thai! 🙂 I have celiacs and wanted to bring to your attention that this dish is not gluten free, because of the soy sauce. If you sub it for tamari or coconut aminos then it would be gluten free. I just wanted to make sure any newly diagnosed celiacs don’t have any reactions for not knowing soy sauce has gluten 🙂 I hope you have a beautiful day!!

  4. Sarah June 10, 2021 @ 7:29 PM Reply

    Loved it! Thank you!

    • Whitney Bond June 14, 2021 @ 4:47 PM Reply

      Yay! Thanks for sharing Sarah!

  5. Brooklyn January 31, 2021 @ 4:30 PM Reply

    Honestly, this one of my favourite recipes! I have made it many times and it never seems to fail me. It’s quick and so delicious! I would definitely recommend trying this one. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Amber December 31, 2020 @ 4:35 PM Reply

    Excellent recipe! We added broccoli and carrots and omitted the curry paste in favor of a dried thai chili and it was AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!

Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe - WhitneyBond.com (2024)

FAQs

What makes Pad Thai taste so good? ›

If it's only made of those ingredients, what then makes it so unique? A Pad Thai has tamarind, fish sauce, garlic, dried shrimp, palm sugar, and red chili pepper. These simple ingredients make Pad Thai a bowl of five tastes—salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami.

What is vegetable Pad Thai made of? ›

Add the zucchini noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, edamame, green onions, and sauce. Then, cook until the veggies are crisp-tender. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serve and ENJOY!

Why does my Pad Thai taste sour? ›

A good pad Thai hits three flavors in a very obvious fashion — sweet, salty, and sour. Sweet from palm sugar. Salty from fish sauce. Sour from tamarind.

Why is my Pad Thai bland? ›

Add enough sauce: In addition to having a great pad Thai sauce, it's important to get the sauce to noodle ratio just right. Because no matter how good your sauce is, if you don't add enough of it, you're going to end up with bland noodles.

What is the main flavor in Pad Thai? ›

Pad Thai Sauce is made with fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar and tamarind. Tamarind is the ingredient that is the heart and soul of Pad Thai sauce, giving the sauce the sour flavour that Pad Thai is known for. It's an ingredient used in South East Asian cooking, like this Malaysian Beef Rendang.

What are the 5 flavors of Pad Thai? ›

The name of this establishment refers to the five flavors (ha/ห้า=five, roat/รส=flavors) which are present in a good pad Thai: salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and savory.

What vegetables do Thai use? ›

In addition, ingredients such as pak choi, daikon, Chinese broccoli, beansprouts, lotus root, bamboo shoots and even long beans are very often used in Thai cuisine, including many Thai vegetable side dishes. These ingredients are often used in a lot of southeast Asian dishes, such as many Indonesian dishes too.

What is the white vegetable in Thai food? ›

Even if it doesn't have as high a profile as cabbage or Chinese broccoli, no discussion of the vegetables used in Thai kitchens is complete without mention of the long, white root vegetable known in Thai as <i>hua pakad</i> or <i>hua chai thao</i>.

Is Veg Pad Thai noodles healthy? ›

When Pad Thai is cooked in traditional Thai style, it turns out to be nutritious and moderate calorie dish. But if the Chef isn't quality conscious, you might end up consuming a full day's calories through this one dish alone.

What can I use instead of tamarind paste in Pad Thai? ›

Rice vinegar: Mix rice vinegar or white wine with an equal amount of brown sugar to replace tamarind paste in recipes. The rice vinegar or wine adds acidity and some sweetness, while the brown sugar enhances that sweetness. Use this as a one-to-one substitute for tamarind paste in recipes.

How do you add flavor to bland Pad Thai? ›

Use tofu, and substitute the fish sauce for more soy sauce. Peanut Butter: In my recipe, I add a big scoop of peanut butter to the sauce because I think it gives the whole dish an added creaminess and boost of flavor.

How healthy is Pad Thai? ›

It can definitely be a part of a balanced, well-rounded diet. While pad thai includes many nutritious ingredients, its sodium content is considerably high. You can reduce its sodium by requesting the eatery go easy on the sauce and salt-contributing condiments.

Why does Pad Thai have so much fat? ›

The only thing is that oil is used in cooking but you can use good quality oils in less amount. It might not be an ideal food for bodybuilders but definitely recommended for most people.

What makes Pad Thai taste sweet? ›

Pad Thai Adaptations

But the backbone of the dish remains the same – rice noodle, eggs, tofu and dried shrimps. As for the all-important sauce, it consists of a balanced nuance of three tastes: saltiness from either fish sauce or soy sauce, sweetness from palm sugar, and sourness from tamarind juice.

What makes Pad Thai different? ›

Traditional Pad Thai usually combines tamarind paste, fish sauce, dried shrimp, and palm sugar, creating a sweet, sour, and salty taste balance. It commonly includes tofu, dried shrimp, bean sprouts, and peanuts. However, Americanized versions might swap tamarind for ketchup, making it sweeter and less complex.

What is the sweet taste in Pad Thai? ›

Sweetness: Pad Thai often has a subtle sweetness, which comes from ingredients like tamarind paste or palm sugar.

What makes Thai food taste Thai? ›

There are some key ingredients that give Thai food it's distinctive aroma, depth and layers of flavour. Lemongrass, galangal, lime (rind and leaves), coriander leaves, sweet Thai basil leaves and garlic are used in one way or another is all Thai dishes.

What makes Thai food delicious? ›

Some of the common ingredients that give Thai food its distinctive flavor are lemongrass, galangal, lime, chili, mint, basil, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Another reason why Thai food is so delicious is that it uses fresh and locally sourced ingredients that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

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